Government officials and local real estate experts agree: widening and repaving the capital’s Veng Sreng Boulevard will have a positive impact on the city’s transport network as well as nearby property values.
Phnom Penh municipal government spokesman Long Dimanche told the Post that Veng Sreng will be expanded 22 metres wide, with a green space running down the middle and dividing six lanes of traffic. The planned roadworks will require 14 months to complete and cost $10 million.
The 6.5-kilometre road, which is an important traffic artery in western Phnom Penh connecting Meanchey and Posenchey districts, has fallen into increasing disrepair in recent years.
Meanchey district chief Kuch Chamreoun told the Post that he had not yet studied the impact of construction on his district, as roadworks will begin in Posenchey first.
Veng Sreng is lined with a string of warehouses and factories and is an important western thoroughfare for large trucks and private vehicles. Chamreoun said widening the road should alleviate the growing problem of traffic jams in the city’s west.
“If the road’s size doesn’t change, it will become more and more congested due to population growth and increased vehicle usage, so it should be enlarged,” he said.
Da Rany, who lives in Borey New World, off of Veng Sreng, said that the construction was a positive development, as the road as it is now is dusty in the dry season and muddy in the rainy season. Not only is the road susceptible to traffic problems, it is also a safety hazard, especially for young people going to and from school, as well as motorcyclists, Rany said.
“I am happy to hear the news of the road’s planned expansion, which should make traffic smoother,” she said. “But I am concerned that the municipal government might only be announcing its plans without following through, because I have not seen any construction yet.”
Noun Rithy, general manager of Bonna Realty Group, said the planned traffic infrastructure upgrade is affecting property values along Veng Sreng, although only slightly, as the area is already developed.
“Land prices along Veng Sreng run between $250 and $500 per square metre,” Rithy said. “I don’t think prices will increase anymore because it is in an area for grade three commerce.”
Recently, Rithy said, ground-floor flats along Veng Sreng have been priced between $120,000 and $180,000. One-storey flats on side roads have been priced at between $35,000 and $45,000 and two-storey flats on side roads between $55,000 and $65,000.
Kim Heang, president of Khmer Real Estate company, said that when construction is completed, Veng Sreng will be renamed Chorm Chaov Boulevard.
Chorm Chaov’s completion will make the area more suitable for medium-income residents, Heang added.